WhimZ Girl gets coffee with the neighbor :)
My neighbor Jay told me something fascinating over a cup of coffee. We were sitting at the coffee shop just around the corner from our apartment building on a Saturday morning, sharing our Friday night escapades.
We hadn’t gone there together — just arrived at the same time and decided to sit for a bit. I’d ordered a grande latte and he was drinking just plain old black coffee (which made me wonder why either of us bothered coming here, where most of the beverages need at least five or six adjectives to describe them) and found a nice sunny table in the corner.
Jay is about ten years younger than I am and works in the IT department of a big investment bank. He’s one of those guys who graduated high school first in his class and finished college in three years and has no idea just how good looking he really is. His skin is smooth and his eyes are bright blue and he has perfect white teeth. And from the way his shirt moves against his body, you can tell he works out. If he weren’t so young, I’d have a big crush on him.
(Okay, I do have a big crush on him. But I’m not going to go there.)
He was wearing jeans and a navy blue t-shirt and he had most definitely showered before leaving his apartment. I, on the other hand, had rolled out of bed and thrown on a pair of sweat pants and a ratty sweatshirt that was lying across the bottom of my bed. Although I had brushed my teeth, I realized that I hadn’t brushed my hair and I self-consciously ran my fingers through it.
Jay smiled and his dimples popped out. “Nice necklace,” he said. “Goes really well with the outfit.”
“Oh,” I said. “I must’ve forgotten to take it off last night.”
The necklace is a beautiful piece — big gold roses with rhinestone centers. It looked great with the slinky black shirt I’d paired it with last night, but probably looked pretty silly now.
“Late night?” Jay asked.
I blushed. “Not what you think,” I told him. “I had a date with a guy who works for the Wrestling Channel. For three hours he talked about wrestling and didn’t ask me one question about myself.”
“You went out with a wrestler?”
“A producer,” I said. “Skinny bald guy. I listened to him and kept thinking how he was practically speaking a different language and I kept ordering more sake. You know how little those sake cups are? You don’t feel like you’re really drinking anything. But then I tried to stand up.”
Jay smirked. Adorable.
“Somehow I managed to lose him and find my way into a cab.” I took a sip of coffee. “I hate online dating.”
I looked over at Jay and noticed he was blushing.
“What?” I asked. “You, too, last night?”
“Not exactly,” he said, hiding his face in his hands. “It’s something different.”
My mind raced with possibilities — but Jay was so sweet and innocent that I dismissed most of them immediately.
“So?” I asked. “You can’t keep me in suspense like this.”
“Okay,” he said. “But it’s kind of embarrassing.” He scratched his head like he was trying to think of what to say. “I go to these classes. Dating classes.”
“Dating classes?” I asked, surprised. “What do you mean?”
“These guys,” he said. “They teach you how to talk to women. You know, how to meet them and ask them out.”
I was speechless — which doesn’t happen very often.
Jay squirmed. “You think it’s ridiculous,” he said.
“I think it’s surprising,” I told him. “I mean, look at you.”
There was a moment of silence and I think we were both blushing, but I was looking at the floor — had I really just said that — so I can’t be absolutely sure.
“So,” I said, looking up at his knees. “Instead of going on a date on a Friday night you go to a dating class with a bunch of guys where you learn about how to go on a date?”
“Well, Friday nights are kind of like a field trip. We go out to a bar with our mentor. Now that I’m saying this out loud,” he said. “It really does sound ridiculous.”
I nodded, then realized that he’d think I was agreeing. “No,” I told him. “It’s just that I don’t think you need a class. I mean, you’re a great guy.”
It was probably the wrong thing to say. Although maybe not. But it really made me think. A guy like Jay seems like the total package — smart, really good looking, fun to talk to. But I guess things truly aren’t always what they seem. Maybe when it comes to dating, we’re all just a bundle of insecurities, trying to prove our worthiness to a total stranger within the time it takes to drink a cocktail or eat a roll of sushi. For women, maybe it’s easier — we can put on high heels and fabulous jewelry and wear them like a shield, at least for the evening. But what about men? Can they adopt a look or a stance that serves the same purpose as a great necklace?
“So does it work?” I asked Jay. “The class?”
He shrugged and flashed me that fantastic smile. “I don’t know,” he said, holding my gaze a moment longer than necessary. “We’ll have to wait and see.”
Of course, I spent the rest of the afternoon analyzing that. And polishing my jewelry.
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